Thursday, March 27, 2008

Judy Breneman Quilt Article in Textbooks

Congratualtions to quilt history enthusiast and historian, Judy Breneman, who has been honored with a request from a major educational book publisher, HoughtonMifflin Company, to include one of her website's articles in their 2008 print and audio learning program for the 10th grade.

Imagine yourself receiving an email from a publisher you have not had contact with. You read it and see they are referencing an article you originally wrote 10 years ago (and have updated a few times) about African-American Quilting. What?..... they want to put it into their elementary school textbook literature, audio and in print, for 10th graders? They are requesting nonexclusive rights and will pay you! This just happened to my girlfriend and website publishing buddy, Judy Breneman.

Judy writes three quilt history websites, and is the website on which the publisher found her article. You can read the full article "African-American Quilting: A Long Rich Heritage" at They shortened it for their purposes, but it's not short.

Her other two websites are Quilt Patterns Through Time and America's Quilting History She writes on many different events in our quilting heritage past, about quilts and their makers, offers free patterns and gives the origins of the block, and so much more.

Judy was early to the website publishing world, late 1990s. She had been an elementary school teacher, but illness prevented her from continuing the demanding job of working with children. She turned to the internet to teach. It was a couple of years after, in 2000, that I met her online via the Quilt History List. She posted info about her website and said she'd help anyone who wanted to start one. I did not have a clue what I was getting into at the time, but I wrote her and she encouraged me to go for it and I did, but I couldn't have done any of it without Judy's help. Not just at the beginning, but through the years she has mentored me in the mechanics of websites, Google, meta this and that, Adsense and Amazon. Judy finds this interesting and challenges herself to improve all aspects of her websites as new ways become available.

As luck would have it, she received the publication invitation a couple of days after she had purchased a gorgeous leather jacket at an Art Fair near her home in southern Arizona. She bought it on a whim and was about to take it back, purely out of guilt, when the contract and request arrived. The amount they paid her just covered the cost of the jacket. How cool is that! As Judy told me "This was just blind luck for me. Like money falling from the sky." After all Judy has given to the quilt history community over the past 10 years, she certainly earned it, and the honor of having her words teach young students about quilting in the Africa-American community.

We can all rejoice in knowing that textbook publishers are including quilts and quilting in their textbooks, and that women's daily life activities are being included in their literature programs. Oh, lest I forget, the first edition is 500,000 copies, audio and print, for worldwide distribution. They said they'd contact her again for any further editions.

May this be evidence to all of us putting our words online, it is worthwhile. Women are always making history!


1 comment:

Isabelle said...

Congratulations Judy! I'm very proud of you, you deserve this recognition of your work. Kim, thanks for sharing this piece of news with us!

Isabelle (France)

Post a Comment

Your comments, questions and answers are welcome! It may take a little while for them to show on my blog - I like to see them first. Thanks for sharing.